Sunday, July 24, 2011

LLM Question of the Day for 7-24-2011, and, A STUDY OF THE EPISTLE OF JAMES, pt. 2 of 3

First the Question: God had no Gentile Apostles. True or False?

Please take a moment to respond at the LLM Question of the Day

And now the answer to the LLM Question of 7-21-2011

Question: No true child of God can or will leave this world one second sooner or one second later than the mo­ment God is ready for that one to depart and to be with the LORD. You will die right on time! True or False?

Answer: TRUE! Of Course it’s TRUE! And out of the 613 responses we received 91.1% of you got it right! Therefore,

Today let us consider, A Study of the Epistle of James, pt. 2 of 3

And as we continue on with this study/message of the Epistle of James please bear in mind this most important statement by the Holy Spirit through James, “As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing.”

If the Apostle James could speak today to the multitude of believing Gentiles who are being beguiled by some of the fraudulent religious teachers, healers, and fanatics which has almost completely swept over Christendom, he would say, “We have concluded that they observe no such thing.” Surely, now, we shall remember these words of James when we read what he says in his epistle concerning anointing with oil. Right? We’ll remember, right? I pray so! Certainly we desire the mind of God in this matter.

There are many members of the Body of Christ, conscientious saints, today who truly want to do the will of God; who do not want to be deprived of any blessing because of the lack of Faith, or lack of understanding of God's Word. God must be sorely grieved with the discord and divisions among His people, with the disagreement and confusion over the subject of healing.

For centuries there has NEVER been so much talk about Divine healing as is heard on every side at this present time. This general discussion of healing has arisen in recent years. The Body of Christ was not troubled with this special emphasis on healing, until this present wave of destructive criticism, known as Modernism, began to sweep throughout the “professing” Church, playing havoc with Church organizations and so-called evangelical seminaries. Surely Satan is using every device to wreck the sane testimony of Christians. How pitiable is the condition of the Christian Church organizations at the present time.

Many of God's children who could not be deceived by this MODERN Christianized agnosticism HAVE been captivated and unbalanced by one of these healing delusions. Really the LORD Jesus Christ is being dishonored today by many men and women who are carrying on their unscriptural healing traffic in His Holy name. Many of them are willfully deceiving the ignorant and gullible religious masses to increase the size of their audiences and the cash receipts in their offerings.

Remember the words of Yahweh Yahuwshua, “A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign” Matthew 16:4. This too, accounts for the throngs who often gather around the fake, and not fake, religious healers of today. The reign of the man of sin is not far off. He is coming “after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders; with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish” 2 Thessalonians 2:9.

Satan by his false prophets will try to deceive even the very elect and many of the very elect have joined the ranks of the fanatical healers to help Satan obscure the glorious Gospel of Grace with their nonsensical, unscriptural, and unprofitable theories, which experiences are constantly proving to be false.

It is a well known fact that multitudes of genuine Christians, as well as those who are Christian in name only, never become earnest students of the Bible UNTIL they become enthusiasts in some religious sect which corrupts or twists the Scriptures. Then most of them cease to be like the Bereans who received the Word with all readiness of mind and searched the Scriptures daily to see whether those things were so, as they simply follow the leader of the sect.

But for the benefit of the Bereans, those members of the Body of Christ who are true students of Scripture, we send out this message, “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray. Is any merry? Let him sing psalms. Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the LORD: and the prayer of Faith shall save the sick, and the LORD shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults (sins) one to another, and pray one for another that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” James 5:13-16.

In every assembly of New Testament saints the spiritual oversight of the flock should be in the hands of matured spiritual Christians.

Christians who would do the will of God should be visiting the sick with their earnest prayers and messages of comfort and sympathy. Many of them are; and God truly is having mercy on many of His children and in answer to the fervent prayers of righteous men and women He is raising them up from beds of sickness, even as He did in the case of Faithful Epaphroditus, Paul's brother and companion in labor, many years ago. Philippians 2:25.

Notice what the Holy Spirit tells us through the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 4:20, “Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick.” Now Trophimus, too, was a Faithful servant of God and a true friend of the Apostle Paul's. In one case Epaphroditus was raised up. In the other case Trophimus was left sick. And we may be sure that Paul earnestly prayed for the recovery of Trophimus, but for some reason he left him sick. Why? Why are many Faithful deeply spiritual saints on beds of sickness today in spite of many prayers of Faith for their recovery?

Thus we see that the sick are not always healed in answer to prayer: not even the most spiritual, consecrated saints. It is very often the case that it is the will of God that some of this class go home in the LORD Jesus with the first serious illness they have. In fact, no true child of God can or will leave this world one second sooner or one second later than the moment God is ready for that one to depart and to be with the LORD. You will die right on time!

Do not as many members in the modern healing sects and cults die as sane spiritual Christians? Is the death rate of either any lower than that of the great number of unsaved people who obey God's physical laws?

God's spiritual and obedient saints die at all ages. So do the rest of the human race, regardless of any peculiar theory or method of healing, with or without the use of material remedies. There is no fixed age for the death of any class of people.

The whole creation is groaning. We who have received the firstfruits of the Spirit are in bondage.

Now, every month science is discovering and demonstrating new methods for curing afflictions, injuries, and diseases and prolonging human life. Chiropractors, osteopaths, and neuropathists, are making wonderful claims of healing. Psychologists and metaphysicians are treating every imaginable and imaginary ailment and reporting marvelous cures. Some say they were able to throw away crutches as the result of repeating over and over, “In every way every day I am getting better and better.”

There are thousands who think that sickness is all in the mind; so they are working on the mind to get rid of every kind of disease in the blood or in any part of the body. Christian Science practitioners are collecting the cash for teaching willing victims to deny the reality of sickness. Many of them who are half or two-thirds dead are lying to themselves or to others about their physical condition and paying expert liars who teach them to lie. Others claim to be cured, and can prove their claims. The Mormons cure all kinds of afflictions and diseases with their oil-anointing elders.

Certainly there is a variety of remedies. There is also a variety of diseases; “divers” diseases. The divers remedies are successful with some of the divers diseases. But while all kinds and classes of healers are busy, the sanitariums and drug-stores are being well patronized; and the undertakers are getting their share of business. Included, in those that they bury, are members of all the different sciences and healing cults in the land.

It is a blessed thing to be relieved of suffering and pain, to be restored from weakness and sickness to strength and health. And, let’s not forget, some of the most ungodly people in the community have this happy experience. However, surely every mentally well-balanced Christian man and woman is praising God for the faithful and capable physicians, surgeons, and nurses, who are doing so much to relieve suffering humanity.

The individual is naturally grateful for the healing method and remedy which has brought relief and is generally ready to recommend it to others. But the next individual with the same malady may be just as Faithful with the same remedy and find it an absolute failure, so far as affecting a cure is concerned. Christian Science says that medical science has never affected a permanent cure. Neither has Christian Science. They all die. However, the LORD Jesus Christ will affect a permanent cure for believers when He comes. Philippians 3:21.

Each of the religious sects who make a specialty of healing has some peculiar theory, and if the individual improves or gets well by applying that theory, then there is a strong probability that the individual will join the religious sect that preaches the theory that brought the relief; and, as a rule, the individual will sing the praises of the healing servant.

There are many healing sects, healing theories, and healing servants. I will leave it to you to explain why some people get rid of their physical ailments by the Christian Science theory. And, it is a fact that they do. But, the Mormons do not believe in any of Mrs. Eddy's (Christian Science) theory, but have a theory of their own. But because they do get some results by anointing with oil, does that prove that Christians should anoint with oil?

Oil belongs to the shadow days of the Old Testament. It belongs in the same dispensation with vows and purifications, shaving of the head, baptism, and circumcision, all of which James approved “for the Jews which believe” twenty-six years after Pentecost.

Now, remember that the Epistle of James is “to Jews which believe.” “To the twelve tribes in the dispersion.” “He was a minister of the circumcision.” REMEMBER, we are not to forget, “As touching the Gentiles which believe; that they observe no such thing.” This Divine principle is to be applied in the matter of anointing with oil. James is the only one who mentions oil and he tells us to observe this principle.

Many of God's true servants have had some blessed experiences using oil on the sick while praying for them, and doubtless most of them will keep on with their oil, no matter what others may say. Different servants use dif­ferent kinds of oil and have different ways of anointing. Some of the folks they anoint do not recover from their ailments; while some do.

The Apostle Paul circumcised Timothy even after James wrote his epistle; but that does not mean that we are to practice that Old Testament custom now. There was a time when it was God's commandment. It was a type of the true circumcision of the heart. Paul practiced it, “because of the Jews” But never did he become a Jew to the Jews after he reached Rome.

Well, how about praying for the sick without the use of oil? It is wrong NOT to do so. Where is the Christian to be found who does not believe in praying for the sick? All Christians believe that with God all things are possible; and that no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly. “Whatsoever ye ask the Father in My Name ye shall receive.” This is the gracious promise the Savior gave to His disciples.

All Christians know that the Scriptures teach that God does hear and does graciously respond to the prayer of Faith. God's principle still maintains: “Be it unto you according to your Faith.”

AND…Every true Christian is more Faithful and earnest in prayer in the time of serious illness, or adversity, or deep sorrow, or severe testing, than at any other time. Not one such would think of denying the omnipotent power of God or discounting the importance of genuine God-given Faith when praying for a loved one or any saint of God who is in any kind of distress, physical or otherwise. But now, this brings to us this question: Just what are we to understand by the statement, “THE PRAYER OF FAITH SHALL SAVE THE SICK?”

In the Scriptures, James 5, is it the prayer of the anointing elders or the prayer of the sick? Whose Faith here saves the sick? Let them pray over him. But we say UNLESS THE SICK had some Faith he would not send for the elders. But, if the sick man has sufficient Faith, does he need the praying elders? Is not his individual Faith without elders and oil enough to bring about his cure?

Christ said, “That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 18:19. One elder and the sick man would be enough to claim this promise. But in several other places the Savior promises definite results to the individual who prays, in Faith.

Every honest Christian will confess a certain lack of Faith, yet some of the most Faithful saints have been praying for years for the salvation of some loved one, and up to the present time their prayers remain unanswered. They have had others of great Faith join with them and claim the answer to their prayer, on the authority of a precious promise in God's Word. Sometimes this prayer of Faith is answered, often after waiting many years. Sometimes the loved one remains unsaved.

It is a very common experience to see the immediate family of some “healing” Christian so disgusted with the healing fanaticism of that Christian that the members of that family will not even listen to his testimony.

Surely, the salvation of the soul is of more importance than the healing of the body. And yet the prayer of Faith for the eternal salvation of loved ones is not always immediately answered; sometimes not for many years. But if the individual has Faith in Christ, and accepts Him, no prayer is needed to save him. “He that believeth on the Son hath life.”

It is not the will of God that anyone be lost. He will save any one who will believe. Neither is it the will of God that any Christian should be defeated by sin; that any of His children yield to temptation. God had definitely promised deliverance, the way of escape. There is victory over temptation for every true believer. The prayer of Faith will always bring victory.

But the prayer of Faith will not always bring healing. And, if Christ does not come back to receive His own unto Himself within the next hundred years, every faithful saint on this earth, like every unfaithful sinner, will die of some physical ailment. Until the return of Christ, death for saint and sinner alike is inescapable.

And yet, we have some Christians who tell us that the healing of the body is in the atonement. If the sinner really believes in the atoning work of Ya-hweh Yahuwshua, the LORD Jesus Christ, and receives Him as Savior, is he not forever saved? (“Sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” Hebrew 10:10. “Justified from all things” Acts 13:39. “The free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our LORD.”) He has eternal life and spiritually shall never die. This is his because of him having the Faith in the finished work of the LORD Jesus Christ.

But incorruptibility is NOT the Christian's in this dispensation. He is begotten into a lively hope. His incorruptible inheritance is reserved. Otherwise, he would not be in bondage, waiting for the adoption to wit the redemption of his body. Romans 8:23. Every believer must have a body of humiliation until Christ comes, at which time he will receive a glorified body.

In the meantime, physical death is no respecter of persons.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” Acts 16:31, while there is still time!

So There You Have it!

Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide. The time is short

Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.

In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry

Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)

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